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Help! Can't get temperature below 260 degrees

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ddemerath, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. ddemerath

    ddemerath Smoke Blower

    About a month ago, I purchased a Smokey Mountain Series 34" Gas Smoker on Clearance for $50.00. We did some ribs on it for its madien try. The ribs came out ok, alittle on the dry side. The recipe called for cooking at 225 degrees. We could not get the smoker below 260 degrees. I called the company and they told me some things to try, which I did with no luck. It is almost like you can't turn the gas vave low enough. I called them back today and they sugested covering the grates with aluminum foil. I can't see where covering the grates with foil would case the temperature to go down. They also sugested opening the door a crack(kinda defeats the purpose of the door). Is there any other way to get the temperature down :!:
  2. meowey

    meowey Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have no trouble getting the temps down on mine. Did you have water in the water pan? Did you have the vents wide open? Were you using the built in thermo to measure the temperature of the smoker? They can sometime be off. Your can check that by removing it from the door and use a pair of pliers or tongs to hold the probe in boiling water. The guage should read close to 212F depending how far above sea level you are. I used a probe from a digital thermo that I tested as described above to monitor my smoker until I determined that the built in was giving me the right info. Some of the built ins are way off.

    Hope this helps,

  3. ultramag

    ultramag SMF Events Planning Committee

    I just can't imagine not being able to get the temp below that level. We gotta start with the simple stuff first. The proper hoses and regulators are properly connected and you had your water pan full?

    What type of thermometer are you using? If you are going by the one in the door that came with it you may just have an inaccurate reading.

    Just out of curiousity more than anything what was the ambient temperature?
  4. ultramag

    ultramag SMF Events Planning Committee

    I guess when you get a phone call and don't get your post submitted for an hour you should check and see if anyone else has posted. That way you won't look crazy. :oops:

    I must say though excellent advice meowey!!! [​IMG]
  5. meowey

    meowey Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    No problem. We've all been there. I did not think about ambient air temperature. Good thing you posted anyway!

  6. ddemerath

    ddemerath Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the quick responses. I did have the water pan full and even went out and bought an oven thermometer to verify the temp. It was reading what the door was reading. As far as all the hoses connected properly, yes they are. Hopefully I can get this fixed.
  7. meowey

    meowey Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have no other ideas. My first guess is that the gas valve is at fault as you suspect. May I suggest that you browse through the Propane smoker section that is located a bit further down the main forum page. Others have had this problem and there have been some other discussions.

    Also take a look at the 3-2-1 method for ribs in the Pork forum. This might help with the dry part of your post.

    Good luck and keep us posted.


  8. ultramag

    ultramag SMF Events Planning Committee

    The one thing Meowey ask that you didn't answer was how were your vents adjusted?

    I sure agree with you that partially opening the door is no solution. Any company that gives that as answer definately loses some points in my book. :x
  9. bob-bqn

    bob-bqn Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I agree, the door and foil advice given by the company is bologna. :? What company did you call BTW?

    I've heard of others having trouble getting the temperature low enough to smoke low-n-slow. When they called CFM and reported the problem they were promptly sent a replacement regulator which fixed it.

    If at first you don't succeed, call, call again. [​IMG]
  10. ddemerath

    ddemerath Smoke Blower

    I called CFM Home Products. What boters me the most is that I have gotten 2 different responses. I spoke with one gentleman and he described some things to try and fix the product. He said that if it did not work, call back and he would send a regulator out. but when I called today, I spoke with a young lady who pretty much told me that was how it works. I am not knocking women, but I feel her response was not in the customers intrest. She didn't care if I took it back or not. I think I will take Bob-BQN's advice and call back.

    The price of the unit was right and having just purchased a reposessed home that we plan on totally remodeling this winter, I think this would be a great treat at the end of a long day having a long slow smoked meal. Hopefully I can get this problem fixed!

    To answer a the vent question, it was wide open to remove more of the heat.
  11. ultramag

    ultramag SMF Events Planning Committee

    Sounds like you had the usual suspect problems under control. I agree the regulator is the next logical step. I would keep calling, work my way up the ladder to a boss if you have to, and mention the safety issues associated with a bad regulator.

    I hope you get your issue resolved to your satisfaction. Please keep us posted.
  12. q3131a

    q3131a Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Can you post the phone number?
  13. ddemerath

    ddemerath Smoke Blower

    Good news, after faxing the serial #, model # and reciept to CFM, They called me back and said that I should be receiving a new gas valve/regulator assembly in 2-4 weeks as the parts are on backorder. Hopefully this will take care of my problem. The number for CFM is 1-800-944-8982.
  14. bob-bqn

    bob-bqn Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I'm happy to hear that you're getting the problem resolved. :)

    I think the reason the parts are on backorder is that this problem is a little more widespread than CFM would like to admit. They must have shipped a bad lot. I think they already knew your unit needed a replacement the first time you called.

    It pays to be a squeaky wheel when it was their problem to begin with. [​IMG]
  15. ddemerath

    ddemerath Smoke Blower

    It took a while to get as the regulator was on back order. I finally received a new one right before Christmas and finally got around to putting it on this past weekend. Low and behold, the regulator assy. (mounting plate) was too small for my smoker. Not caring to call and try to get the right one, I took off my control and swapped it out with the new one. Then I proceeded to try smoking a turkey. All I can say is "WOW" :lol:. That was one awesome bird, tender and juicy. The new control could regulate the temperature like it ws supposed to. I went out and got a brisket to try this weekend.
  16. pyre

    pyre Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Sounds good! I glad you got it all straightened out.